By guest blogger Christina Dun
If you’d asked me on the morning of September 15th, how I felt about that evening’s Urban Hip Hop Union (UHHU) dance team audition, I would have told you that I was pumped and excited to finally be able to dance here in Toronto. But if you’d asked me five minutes before the audition, you’d have seen a look of panic flash across my face.
I was told about the UHHU through a friend, but it wasn’t until Campus Groups Day that I heard about their dance team. I was instantly sold.
I’ve gone through auditions before in my native Vancouver, but walking into Kerr Hall South, I felt more intimidated than ever. I felt like turning around and going back to my room at the ILLC. As I stood with the 50 other eager dancers, the phrase “What if I mess up?” was on replay in my mind. I had no idea what the dance scene was like out here at Ryerson.
After signing in and getting my fancy name tag, I stepped into the dance studio. The atmosphere was welcoming, which was a relief. At the front of the studio stood the dance team executives, Krista Deady and Keegan Shim, who gave everyone the breakdown on how the audition was going to work. As at a typical dance audition, they were each going to teach a routine, and later, ask us to perform the routines in smaller groups.
Deady taught the first routine, and I knew immediately that this wasn’t the style what I was used to. Her routine to the song “Popcorn” by The Cool Kids was pretty chill and had a lot of flare. Afterwards, Shim taught his piece to “Hot Tottie” by Usher featuring Jay-Z, and it was full of swag. Everyone was really getting into it and you could feel the perspiration and energy fill the room, which was getting pretty stuffy with all that heavy breathing.
Thankfully, we got plenty of water breaks.
After the choreography portion, we were told that there was a freestyle as well. Everyone sat in a circle and, one by one, people went to the center and gave it their all. Lucky me, I was called upon first.
Freestyling in front of everyone was exhilarating and nerve-wracking at the same time. You’re feeling the music but still wondering what other people are thinking as they watch you. But boy, does Ryerson have talent! There was popping, breaking, and even a few backflips!
By the end of the audition, the room was sickeningly hot and t-shirts were completely sweat-stained (a typical sight in a dance studio). We were told that we would know the results by Friday. Overall, it was an awesome first-year experience, and my fingers are crossed!Photo by Josh MacDonald